Flooding affects Trans Canada near Revelstoke, Quesnel River community on evacuation alert


Wet weather and high water in B.C.’s Interior has caused washouts and mudslides, and forced officials to close roads and place some rural communities on flood watch.

Residents living near the Quesnel River were placed on an evacuation alert Friday afternoon because of potential flooding.

The Cariboo Regional District says residents in the Garvin Road area may receive limited notice to leave their homes because of the rising river.

Much of B.C.’s Interior was under heavy rainfall warning Friday, but Environment and Climate Change Canada had lifted those warnings by Saturday morning.

Flood warnings, however, remained for much of central B.C. because of fears over rising rivers.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre maintained warnings Saturday for the Upper Fraser River and the Quesnel River.

Highway 1 west of Revelstoke reopened Friday to single-lane alternating traffic after being closed in both directions because of heavy flooding for nearly 24 hours.

Drive B.C. says crews remain at the site, adding that significant delays are expected.

A four-kilometre section of the highway near Victor Lake Provincial Park, about 15 kilometres west of Revelstoke, was closed Thursday, as crews worked to clear water and debris.

The Trans-Canada Highway was also closed in both directions Friday morning between Revelstoke to Golden due to the volume of traffic stuck in Revelstoke. That 147-kilometre stretch of highway has since reopened.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation said crews and engineers have been working to dissipate flood waters and reduce overflows, and clear culverts.

Meantime, the ministry said late Friday that the Peace Region had received between 70 to 140 millimetres of rainfall since Thursday, with more rain expected through the day Saturday.

As of Friday, there were 59 sites on provincial public highways and roads in the Peace Region affected by washouts, with detours and alternate routes available around each site, according to the ministry.

Maintenance contractors and ministry staff are responding to the sites and will continue to monitor throughout the weekend, the ministry said.

One of the washouts, which happened Wednesday on Telegraph Creek Road, has shut down the main access to the northern community of Telegraph Creek, which is home to about 250 residents, most of them members of the Tahltan First Nation.

The ministry said crews are on site and working to repair the road to open it to single-lane access. In the meantime, the ministry said it is working with other agencies to support the community.

On Thursday, Emergency Management B.C. warned British Columbians to prepare for localized flooding because of the heavy rainfall.

Flood warnings have been posted for three regions in B.C. as Environment Canada forecasts heavy rainfall in the Northern Rockies, Upper Fraser and Chilcotin areas.

A B.C. River Forecast Centre advisory says water levels are expected to increase significantly through the week and into the weekend after rainfall ranging from 20 to 100 millimetres.

The centre says major river systems in the upper Fraser and Quesnel are forecast to rise dramatically if that level of rain occurs, reaching 100-year return periods.

The flood risk for rivers in the Northern Rockies is also expected to increase, although locations and impacts will depend on when and where the heaviest rain falls.

The centre says the public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here